Did Howard Dean order KS gov to lie about FEMA’s response to the Greensburg tornado? Update: Flat denials from the DNC, Gov Sebelius and Brownback
posted at 6:44 pm on May 10, 2007 by Bryan
Update: Brownback says no, making it 3 for 3.
Update: The DNC just emailed me two documents, one a letter to XM and the other a letter to Free Republic. In both letters, the DNC denies without equivocation that the conversation between Dean and Sebelius ever took place. Both are C&D notices from the DNC’s lawyers.
The statement made by Mr. Quinn is demonstrable, unequivocally, and absolutely false. Governor Dean had no such conversation with Governor Sebelius, ever.
That’s about as flat a denial as one can get, though it’s interesting that they would resort to C&D notices to combat this story and characterize it as “libelous” and “slanderous” and “interfering with the DNC’s operations and ability to solicit support and raise funds.” The Democrats as a party have been libeling and slandering President Bush with impunity for years. Perhaps the RNC should start slapping them with C&Ds.
But getting back to this story, both Gov. Sebelius and the DNC are flatly denying that the conversation between Dean and Sebelius took place as described. So consider this story killed.
Update: I’ve placed calls to Sen. Brownback, Gov. Sebelius and the DNC. I left a message with Brownback’s office and Gov. Sebelius’ staff. The DNC spokesman denied that the phone call took place and is working on getting an official denial out to me as soon as he can.
XM Radio’s Quinn & Rose made the allegation that DNC Chairman Howard Dean called Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius early Sunday morning and instructed her not to request federal assistance in recovery from the Greensburg tornado, and to lie about the federal response to date, on their show, The War Room, today. After I discussed the story via phone with both Quinn and Rose today, here’s what they sent me.
PLEASE NOTE: The following is information we have received from a reliable source. We have never been misinformed by this person in the past.
It seems that, on Sunday, a few hours after Kansas Governor, Kathleen Sebelius, made her remarks about Bush sending all their National Guard Members and Resources to Iraq, she made a call to Brownback
Sebelius, was calling to apologize to the Senator for making the Political statements that she did. She explained that she did not believe them and that they actually had too many National Guardsmen show up.
Governor Sebelius explained “Sam, you know how political everything is right now and we’re not allowed to let an opportunity like this just pass.” She continued “I made sure not to blame you or Pat (Senator Roberts?) or anybody outside the White House. With his (Bush’s) numbers, you can’t really blame me for usin’ that.”
Then Sebelius explained the path to her comments. After Brownback told her that he was very disappointed in her, She pleaded “You know me Sam, I wouldn’t have said it if I didn’t have to.” She declared “Howard (Dean) called me around 5 o’clock (in the morning) and told me not to ask The White House for any help or make any statements until I heard back. Dick (Durban?) called me an hour or 2 later and that’s when he told me we needed to use this ‘n’ said to talk about the Guard all bein’ at war.”
She then explained the thinking; “Speaker and Harry got so much heat on them from both sides over this damn war, ‘n’ they need to get the press on somethin’ else. I didn’t think it was right to use it like this either, but I didn’t see’s I had much choice in this climate, Sam.”
She the[n] apologized a few more times and promised that she’d try to move away from the comment when she and Brownback were to meet up later and tour the damage, but she had to so it without disappointing Dean and Pelosi.
I asked them to characterize their source, and they replied that she or he would be in a position to have knowledge of the conversation between Sen. Brownback and Gov. Sebelius and has never misinformed them before. Sean Hannity has called Sen. Brownback’s office to either verify or debunk the story, but so far the senator has done neither. There is word that the senator may attempt a “limited hangout” strategy this weekend, in which he acknowledges that the conversation took place but won’t remember the Dean angle. Such a strategy, if that’s what Sen. Brownback does, might be an attempt to maintain comity in what has until now been by all accounts a smooth relationship between the Democratic governor and Republican officials in Kansas. Comity shouldn’t come at the price of truth, however.
At this point, I have no way of verifying whether DNC Chairman Howard Dean called Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius and instructed her to lie about the federal response to Friday’s devastating tornado. But I will make some calls and see what I can find out. Quinn & Rose’s story does fit the timeline and does fit the Democrat M.O. of late, in which they find a way to blame every single thing under the sun on Bush and on the war in Iraq. Other Democrat governors have pre-emptively blamed the lack of response to disasters that haven’t even happened yet on Bush and the war in Iraq. So on its face the story strikes me as very plausible.
More: Here’s the original post to catch everyone up on Sebelius’ original statements, the WH and Pentagon and Brownback rebuttals, and then Sebelius’ quick climb down. Obama makes his “10,000 dead” gaffe (has anyone seen video of that gem yet?) and Dingy Harry assails the WH long after Sebelius’ original statements had been debunked. **Here’s the Obama gem. Heh. I’d been off the site and missed it when Ian posted it.